WHEN an Anglesey couple bought a Shetland pony called Arthur for their grandchildren from sellers called Donkeys of Wales they discovered they’d been sold a pup – and have won a small claims case in the county court.

They claimed that Arthur had been advertised as a colt aged two, in good health and with an equine passport.

But after driving 164 miles from Llanelli to take the pony back to their smallholding near Holyhead, they discovered that Arthur was suffering from bad teeth and a vet put his age as anything from 12 to 20.

At Caernarfon county court on Wednesday District Judge Wendy Owen accepted their story and awarded them £190 for transporting Arthur back to South Wales, £102 for the vets’ fee, and court costs of £167 – a total of £459.

Edward Anthony, 61, of Llaingoch, Holyhead, gave evidence on behalf of his 66-year-old wife Kathleen, who brought the case. Zoie Burton, of Donkeys of Wales, which is family-run, was unwell and unable to attend so sent a letter to the judge.

Mr Anthony described driving to Llanelli last May and picking up the colt, paying £225, and having done the deal by phone and email. The colt was already “boxed up” ready for the journey and a young woman said they had forgotten the passport but would send it next day. He put Arthur in a paddock but when he inspected him next day found him grinding his teeth. “His teeth were in a heck of a mess,” he added, “and had split the poor pony’s mouth.”

When he phoned Zoie (correct)Burton she told him she was selling him on behalf of someone else but wouldn’t give the name.

Mr Anthony’s vet said Arthur’s teeth were in a bad state. “He opened the mouth and said ‘I think it’s more than 12 years old and probably about 20 years of age’.”

The pony was returned to Donkeys of Wales and the £225 refunded, but not the cost of obtaining transport.

In her letter to the court Zoie Burton said : “They could have said they didn’t want him, I didn’t force them to buy him.“

In her judgement District Judge Owen said the advertisement stated clearly that the colt was two and up to date with the farrier and passport “and excellent with other animals.” The seller had claimed that the colt had no faults but that she was selling him on behalf of someone else. A vet was unable to examine the pony on his first visit to the smallholding because Arthur was out of control and bucking. When he returned he noted blueness around the eyes, teeth were in a mess, and his age was anything up to 20.

“In my judgement this is a case where the claimant was induced to enter into this contract by misrepresentation,” declared the judge. It must have been known to the defendant that the pony did not have a passport, was not in good health and far older than stated.

After the case Mr Anthony said the pony was intended for grandchildren aged seven and nine. Arthur would draw a cart and it would introduce the children to horses.

He said : “I feel so sorry for Arthur and I just hope he’s being looked after wherever he is.”

The Donkeys of Wales website states they were established in 1997 and have the reputation of “top class donkey breeders.”

There are pictures of “famous faces with our donkeys”, including actress and singer Sheridan Smith, the Prince of Dubai and Fifi Ecclestone.

Asked to comment yesterday THU Zoie Burton said : “I don’t want to respond.” ENDS